Hellebores - Planting in December in Zone 6a? December 2023

I went to the orange big box store to look for a Winter Rose Pointsettia this weekend and while I didn't find any of those (they had just the traditional pointsettia), I did find a large rack of Hellebores.  They're all white ones that are in quart nursery containers.  They were (originally) listed for $9.98 and now have been marked down to $4.99.  They're an all white-turning-to-light-green flower variety.  See below for the hellebores:

I'm wondering to myself....can these be planted in December?  I mean...the ground isn't QUITE frozen yet and they ARE hardy to our zone.  Would they survive?  Or, could I just keep them alive as houseplants until Spring?  

A quick search on the Web turns up answers like this:

Container-grown hellebores can be used as houseplants. They prefer to be grown in garden soil but will survive indoors. Give them plenty of light during the winter months and indirect light in the summer. This action will mimic their natural environment of being shaded by deciduous trees during the hotter times of the year.
And this piece in Horticulture Magazine provides some slightly different approaches - keeping them cold is their preference.  From their story:

We have a spot that is both COLD and bright:  our screened porch.  

The question:  should I go back and buy a few of these?  I could see a hybrid approach - trying to plant a couple of them and keeping the others on the porch.  

I've long wanted hellebores in a larger colony and have planted a few of them over the years.  The problem is that they're always SOOO expensive.  Here, below, is the sign from this year's Morton Arboretum sale - showing the $24 price for a one gallon.  

These quarts are $5 a piece and four quarts make a gallon.  So, using that math, this works out to $20 for four quarts.  But, when I looked at the quarts, they're pretty full.  I'd say that two of these quarts make up the plant material of a normal one-gallon Hellebore. 

The other thing that I have in the back of my mind is that on my 2023 year-end recap, I told myself that I need to stretch myself with a focus on flowers and blooms.  Hellebores are a very early-season bloomer.  So...kinda checking two boxes (flowers and four-season gardening) at once with these.

That means...I've convinced myself that these are a deal.  But, there's one other factor in terms of hellebores and their pricing:  the orientation of the flowers.  Most Hellebores bloom downwards - and some newer varieties have been breed to bloom "outward" - where their flowers can be shown off a bit more.  My guess is that these white ones - sold during Christmastime...at the big box store - are likely the traditional variety that bloom more downward.  

I guess...there's only one way to find out, right?  


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